What Edge Bevels Should I Use?

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For the recreational skier, 1 degree base and 3 degree side is probably the most common edge angle for most skis and boards and works particularly well on ice and hard man-made snow (conditions the majority are faced with, particularly out East). That’s of course assuming the edges are sharp and polished.

A 2 degree side bevel could be considered for softer snow – typical conditions most of the time in the Rockies. Many feel that there is not a downside to using a 1/3 (base/side) bevel angle for recreational skiers and that it is not acute enough of an angle to reduce sharpness quickly on abrasive snows and ice.

Many performance minded skiers on hard snows may prefer a .5 or .7 degree base bevel. It is easier to increase the base bevel versus reducing if you are experimenting since you will need to remove base material to reduce the base bevel angle.

Those unsure about what bevels to use or without a preference should maintain the edge bevels the manufacturer has placed on their skis or board, which vary according to manufacturer and model. Racers have different requirements and precision tolerances for their edges as every 1/1,000 sec matters, whereas for the majority of recreational skiers or boarders, the higher precision is far less of a noticeable concern that affects performance and enjoyment.